How Are Hormonal Imbalances Treated
Treatment for a hormonal imbalance will depend on whats causing it.
If you have lower-than-normal hormone levels, the main treatment is hormone replacement therapy. Depending on which hormone is deficient, you may take oral medication or injection medication.
For example, if you have low thyroid hormone levels , your provider can prescribe synthetic thyroid hormone pills. If you have growth hormone deficiency, youll likely have to take injections of synthetic growth hormone.
If you have higher-than-normal hormone levels, there are many treatment options depending on the cause. Options include medication, surgery, radiation therapy or a combination of any of these.
For example, if you have a prolactinoma, a benign tumor that causes excess prolactin , your provider may prescribe a medication to shrink the tumor or you may need surgery to remove it.
Cut Back On The Alcoholic Beverages
Ive often been told Im the bearer of bad news, but I promise that laying off the liquor will be a game changer.
A glass of alcohol is like consuming a handful of sugary cookies, just via another delivery method. It immediately hits your bloodstream, sending your blood sugar levels on a roller-coaster ride.
Alcohol also raises estrogen levels, because it creates a whole lot of extra work for your liver, so it cant effectively detox estrogen, which is one of its main jobs. This estrogen excess can trigger heavier, longer periods, breast pain, headaches, and raging PMS.
See the connection between what we eat and drink and our period problems?
What The Results Mean
If progesterone levels are low during pregnancy, it could be a sign that you’re at risk of miscarriage or premature labor. You may be given a synthetic form of progesterone to prevent early labor.
High progesterone levels usually do not signal any health problems unless they continue for a long time. In those instances, high levels may indicate an increased risk of breast cancer.
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Should You Look Into Further Testing If Your Doctor Says Thyroid Levels Are Normal Yet Symptoms Are Present
YES! You should. YOU are the expert on youre own body, and if something doesnt feel right, you have the right to investigate it.
Serum testing of thyroid levels by your doctor usually starts with TSH and maybe T4.
The problem with this is that just measuring TSH clues us in on pituitary function rather than thyroid function. It does not evaluate how much active thyroid youre making.
Another caveat to conventional thyroid testing is that the ranges for normal are very large therefore, many women can be experiencing subclinical symptoms of hypo/hyperthyroidism without being notified by their doctor.
If possible, request a full thyroid panel as described earlier in this post and seek a functionally trained health professional to interpret whether your levels are optimal.
Period Problems And Period
A common complaint of women who visit Madison Womens Health is irregular periods or unexpected changes to their periods. A period is considered irregular when it occurs more often than before or less often than before, or if the amount and duration of bleeding has changed significantly for repeated months. Is your period suddenly much heavier than it has been? Or are you not having a period at all?
Keep track of your cycles, when you begin to bleed, and for how long. A popular app among our patients for tracking cycles is Period Tracker Period Calendar , although there are many options. Let your doctor know how many days there are between your periods and what your typical flow is like. Discuss what is different and why you are concerned. Let them know if youre under more stress than before, if youve changed your diet or exercise recently, or if you have a family history of irregular periods.
These changes could have a structural cause having to do with your cervix or uterus or a hormonal cause. Your doctor will likely want to perform a physical exam and may also check specific hormones on a specific day of your menstrual cycle.
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How Reliable Is A Salivary Hormone Testing Kit
Saliva testing can give you accurate information about your hormone levels. A large amount of research done in the past decades has shown that hormone levels in saliva correlate with hormone levels in blood . So saliva tests offer a convenient, noninvasive way to evaluate a wide range of hormones, and saliva testing techniques can be just as accurate as blood testing methods.
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Hormonal Imbalance In Women
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Bloating, fatigue, irritability, hair loss, palpitations, mood swings, problems with blood sugar, trouble concentrating, infertility â these are just a few symptoms of hormone imbalance. These compounds affect every cell and system in the body. Hormone imbalance can debilitate you. Some hormonal shifts are normal, like monthly fluctuations of sex hormones responsible for menstruation and ovulation or the changes that occur during pregnancy. Menopause is another time for a normal hormonal shift in a womanâs life. Many women may experience weight gain, mood swings, night sweats, and diminished sex drive during this time. Other times these fluctuations may be due to a medication or a medical condition.
Balance Your Cortisol
Cortisol is an important hormone that may become imbalanced with stress or illness. Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands that lie on top of the kidneys. Low intensity exercise can help lower elevated cortisol levels. Stress impacts adrenal function and hormone levels. Get acquainted with hormone imbalance symptoms and signs so you can notice when things in your body and mind donât seem right.
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What Is Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness is a painful symptom that affects a persons quality of life. It can cause pain during sitting, exercising, peeing and sexual intercourse. Normally, your vaginal lining is lubricated with fluid that helps keep it thick and elastic. Vaginal dryness happens when the tissues in your are dry, thin and not well-moisturized. This leads to discomfort, especially during sex.
Vaginal dryness occurs at any age. Its most common in women or people assigned female at birth during or after menopause when estrogen levels decline. The hormone estrogen helps keep your vaginal lining moisturized and healthy. Low levels of estrogen cause your vaginal walls to become thin and dry. This is a common condition of menopause called vaginal atrophy.
Many safe and effective treatments are available for vaginal dryness.
Natural Ways To Balance Your Hormones
Most natural remedies for hormonal imbalance in females can be found in widely available supplements. Many people also experience relief from certain lifestyle changes, including:
- Managing weight
- Getting enough sleep
Hormones have a great role in many processes in our bodies. As weve seen, disruptions of these hormones can cause a variety of symptoms. Sometimes, a hormonal imbalance can have several serious effects. If you seek treatment as soon as possible, youll have the best chance of managing any complications.
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Fertility Problems Caused By Hormone Imbalances
Another common time women ask for a hormone checkup is when trying to conceive. Typically, 84% of women get pregnant after a year of unprotected sex. When conception doesnt happen, one reason could be a hormonal imbalance. To learn more, read our extensive article about fertility challenges here.
Again, its important to track your menstrual cycle, including the dates you have unprotected sex, to give your doctor a picture of what your reproductive cycle is doing. Keep in mind that your partner should also be tested for structural or hormonal issues if you have been trying to conceive for some time.
If youre having your period too often , then your uterus cant sustain a fertilized egg. If your periods are too far apart , your ovaries may not be releasing eggs often enough into your fallopian tubes.
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Is It Hard To Overcome A Hormone Imbalance
Because hormones affect so many different processes of the body, managing hormone-related symptoms and pinpointing the exact cause of these symptoms can take some time. For that reason, some individuals may find it difficult to overcome a hormonal imbalance. This is especially true for couples trying to get pregnant.If you or a loved one is experiencing a hormone imbalance, its important to remember that there are science-backed solutions and treatments available. The best place to start is by examining any lifestyle factors that may be influencing your hormones. If you are still struggling even after making any necessary lifestyle changes, its a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor for further advice and support.
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How Is Hormone Imbalance Treated
If the symptoms of hormone imbalance are very mild, some people choose to approach the issue holistically. If the symptoms become disruptive or uncomfortable, people may choose to pursue treatment.
Treatment for hormone imbalance is multifaceted. Hormone therapy can significantly resolve symptoms, but its benefits only reach their fullest potential when combined with a healthy lifestyle.
Understanding Results Of Your Thyroid Function Test
To understand the results of your thyroid function test better, you can check out below the normal ranges for TSH, T4, T3, TPOAb, TgAb, TRAb.
However, self-diagnosis, especially, in this case, is not a good idea. If you need help with the interpretation of your test you can schedule a consultation with me.
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How Can I Find Out If I Have A Hormone Imbalance
The only way to confirm a hormone imbalance is to test your hormone levels. Both blood tests and saliva tests are proven techniques in assessing a hormone imbalance. i-screen uses blood tests to accurately determine sex hormone and thyroid hormone levels, but prefers saliva testing to assess cortisol levels. This is because cortisol levels follow a diurnal pattern which means tests must be conducted throughout the course of the day this makes blood testing inconvenient.
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Hormone Balance In Menopause And Anovulatory Cycles
Of course, there is little mid-life women can do to reverse normal physiology and aging ovaries, although they can diligently guard against undue stress that can speed up the process. But growing numbers of younger women are showing signs of estrogen dominance as a result of anovulatory cycles linked to an unbalanced lifestyle: chronic stress, crash diets, exposure to synthetic hormones used in birth control pills, and growth hormones in feedlot beef and dairy products, as well as xenoestrogens found in numerous personal hygiene and household products.
In any case, there is much women of all ages can do to rebalance progesterone and overall hormone levels to avoid becoming estrogen dominant. First, we can work with a provider to test our hormone levels for imbalances. If testing reveals estrogen dominance, we can take steps to restore the natural equilibrium by rebalancing with bioidenticalshormones derived from plant compounds that are made to be identical in structure and function to those our body makes naturally.
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Skin And Hair Changes
Acne. A sudden increase in acne is one easy way to identify a possible hormonal imbalance. One of the few hormones involved is androgens. Androgens, typically referred to as male hormones, but found in both males and females, regulate your skins sebum production. If your body produces androgens in excess, sebum can build up in your pores and cause a pimple to surface.
Hair loss. The quality and vitality of your hair is also directly related to your hormones. Thyroid abnormalities, for example, may cause dry hair or skin, thinning hair, or brittle nails. Hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and parathyroid disorder can also cause hair loss.
Questions Your Doctor May Ask
To help determine the cause of ED, your doctor may ask about your medical and sexual history. Be prepared to answer these questions honestly. Details about your past may provide important clues to the cause of your ED.
According to the Mayo Clinic, your doctor may ask about:
- other health problems and chronic conditions
- other sexual problems
So many women come to me after trying to explain the symptoms shes experiencing before, during or after menopause to a conventional physician and failing to get any answers. They just want someone who can help them feel better and they deserve to find the help they need!
Hormonal imbalance can cause confusing and sometimes frightening symptoms. You need someone to help you sort through whats going on in your body, and to help you find solutions. And when you talk to your doctor, you shouldnt come away feeling even worse because they dont have any solutions to offer. There are lots of options but conventional health care practitioners often default to the same old thing, whether it works or not. They may not even acknowledge that theres another way!
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How To Check Hormone Levels With A Pelvic Exam
Pelvic exams dont directly check hormone levels, but they do give your doctor valuable insight into your bodys ability to produce sufficient hormones. Doctors will check the testicles for abnormalities in size or any internal lumps or growths that may be cause for concern.
Female hormone testing usually involves a pap smear and a wellness check to assess reproductive health issues that may contribute to or be caused by inadequate hormone production.
Lumps may require a punch biopsy or a needle biopsy. Your doctor will send a sample to a lab for analysis to determine the nature of these lumps, such as to confirm they are not tumors. Its important for your doctor to ascertain that these lumps dont present a serious threat to your overall health.
Diagnosis Of Womens Hormonal Imbalance
Since the symptoms of female hormone imbalance are also common signs of a number of other diseases and health conditions, women experiencing them should see a physician for a thorough physical examination. If other underlying medical conditions are ruled out, hormone level testing is the next step. Hormone levels can be measured through saliva testing and/or blood tests. Establishing an accurate diagnosis of hormone imbalance may require several tests, done at intervals, as hormone levels fluctuate throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle and may change greatly from one day to another.
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What Is Hormonal Imbalance In Men
The most common hormonal imbalances in men are related to testosterone levels. Men may experience low levels of testosterone due to disorders, like hypogonadism for example when the testes cannot produce an adequate supply of testosterone. More commonly, aging is the underlying cause, with testosterone production gradually diminishing over time, beginning around age 40. For some men, levels fall so low that the body’s basic needs for the hormone cannot be fulfilled, which can lead to many of the symptoms listed above. Other factors that can contribute to low testosterone levels include excessive stress, poor diet, obesity and regular excessive alcohol use.
Obesity Increases Breast Cancer Risk
Cancer-causing toxins accumulate in body fatthe more body fat the more room for stored toxins. We can excrete these by losing weight and eating fiber that binds up toxins and escorts them out of the body. Fat cells also contain the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogens. This is why overweight and obese women have more estrogen. The more estrogen produced in the breast tissue, the more chance of stimulating the growth of breast cancer cells. Fat also produces substances called cytokines that are inflammatory in nature. A whole host of diseases including cancers of the breast and prostate are aided and abetted by silent inflammation.
Leptin, another hormone with multiple actions is produced by fat tissue and has been shown to directly stimulate the growth of cancer cells. Its levels rise in people with increased body fat and indirectly trigger more aromatase activity.
Obesity leads to the reduction of SHBG a protein that binds estrogen levels and keeps them out of circulation. When these levels go down, estrogen levels go up, become active, and thus stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. Over one hundred studies have investigated the links between obesity and breast cancer. Taken as a whole, their findings strongly indicate that overweight or obese women have a 30 to 50% great risk of postmenopausal breast cancer than leaner women. It is known that women who continuously gain weight throughout life have a higher risk of breast cancer.
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How Is A Hormone Imbalance Diagnosed
Diagnosis for a hormone imbalance typically begins with a physical exam at your doctors office. During this exam, your doctor will ask you to describe any symptoms that you are experiencing and when these symptoms tend to occur.Your doctor will likely also want to know about any recent changes to your:Diet or exercise regimeSleeping patternsMoodBased on your individual symptoms and situation, your doctor may want to run further testing to assess your hormone levels and overall health. This could include any of the following: a blood test, pelvic exam, ultrasound, thyroid scan, MRI, x-ray, and/or biopsy.
Hormonal Imbalance And Men
You may think that women are the ones facing hormonal imbalances. But this is not the case. Men, as well as womens bodies, produce several hormones that are essential for wellbeing. One very well-known male hormone is testosterone. But, did you know that men, also, produce estrogen? Testosterone is mainly produced in the testicles and, a small amount is produced in the adrenal glands. It is responsible for ones manly characteristics, such as:
- Facial and Body Hair
- Muscle and Bone Density
It also stimulates the production of sperm and affects your desire for sex. It also plays a major role in the way one gains weight and, how and where the body will end up accumulating these fat cells. Finally, red blood cells production is linked to testosterone levels.
Estrogen is made from testosterone with the help of an enzyme known as aromatase. As you age, not only do your testosterone levels naturally drop, but your estrogen levels go up simultaneously. The loss of testosterone with age is referred to by some professionals as andropause male menopause.
However, testosterone levels can drop, even in young men, from several causes, such as:
- Injuries to Scrotum or Testicles
- Testicular Cancer
In fact, one study has shown that 30 percent of men who were overweight had low testosterone, as opposed to only 6.4 percent of men of normal weight. Another study found 24.5 percent of diabetic men having low testosterone as opposed to 12.6 percent of non-diabetic men.
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